Wendell James Wratten 1919 - 1945
Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 1/19/2014 at 00:00:58
Sgt. Wendell Wratten Killed in Germany
Date of Death Given as March 31
Staff Sgt. Wendell J. Wratten, 26-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Wratten of Estherville, was killed in action March 31, in Gemany, his parents learned Tuesday evening when they received a telegram through the Red Cross.
Sergeant Wratten was with the 60th armored infantry division and is believed to have been with the first group of Americans who crossed the Rhine river with General Courtney M. Hodges.
Graduated in 1937
Wratten, who entered the service approximately four years ago in March, was graduated from the McKinley high school in Cedar Rapids in 1937. He was inducted into the service from Polk county and during the first year was with the cavalry which was later broken up.
He participated in maneuvers in the south before the war began. Wratten was then sent to Arizona where he guarded a large number of airplanes after which he was sent to Fort Knox, Ky., to attend an armored school. Later being transferred to Fort Riley, Kans., and then to Needles, Calif., where he was stationed in the desert for one summer. After this Wratten was sent to Camp Polk, la., and placed in the infantry. He left for overseas duty in August, 1944.
Injured in February
In February of this year Sergeant Wratten was injured in France. However, he had recovered from these injuries and returned to duty.
Wratten, whose birthday was February 17, wrote the last letter to his parents on March 27.
He is survived by his parents and one brother, Francis Wayne, who was discharged from the navy and now living in Los Angeles, Calif. (Estherville Daily News, Estherville, IA, April 18, 1945 / Vindicator and Republican, Estherville, IA, April 19, 1945)
Military Rites For Wendell Wratten Jan. 5
Full military rites will be held for S-Sgt. Wendell J. Wratten, 2 p.m. Jan. 5 at Sternborg funeral chapel, Rev. G.W. Hagerg officiating. Burial will be at Oakhill cemetery. He is son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Wratten of Estherville.
Wratten’s body will arrive in Estherville 7:40 a.m. Jan. 4 accompanied by a military escort, and will be escorted to the funeral parlor by a military guard composed of American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars members.
He entered service Mar. 24, 1941 and went overseas Aug. 1944. He was a member of the 60th armored infantry battalion, Ninth armored division of the First army, and was killed in action in Germany, March 13, 1945.
Those who wish to be in the firing squad should contact Ralph Boone or Harold Iseminger. (Estherville Daily News, Estherville, IA, December 29, 1948)
Sgt. Wendell J. Wratten, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry J. Wraten of Estherville, who was slightly injured in action shortly after the first crossing of the Rhine, told his parents Monday in a letter that he was being treated in a hospital for frost bitten toes and is glad that was all.
Sergeant Wratten in his letter said “I guess you know we are across the Rhine now on our way to Berlin, I hope. We are credited with a big part of this crossing. I’m patting myself on the back and maybe you heard the broadcast so know more about it than I do.
“Yes, we are getting good eats, I can’t kick too much at the present. I suppose you are having spring rains and chilling winds. I’ll bet the river is really up and over the bank.”
Sergeant Wratten’s address is: serial number 37041567, APO 259, care of postmaster, New York, N.Y. (Vindicator and Republican, Estherville, IA, March 29, 1945)
Iowa War Casualties, Army Dead – European
Pvt. [Sgt.]Wendell J. Wratten, Estherville (Carroll Times Herald, Carroll, IA, April 27, 1945)
Ship Brings War Dead to Home Shore
New York – the 16th largest movement of World War II dead to be returned from any theater of operations arrived Monday night.
The army transport Carroll Victory docked at the Brooklyn army base with the remains of 7,600 Americans killed in Europe.
Most of the men had been buried in military cemeteries in France and Holland.
Memorial services were scheduled at the army base Tuesday.
The list includes the following North Iowans, together with the next of kin:
Sgt. Wendell J. Wratten; Henry Wratten, Estherville. (Mason City Gazette, Mason City, IA, November 18, 1948)
Emmet Obituaries maintained by LaVern Velau.
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